Vietnamese boat people are rescued by the USS Ranger CV 61 March 20, 1981, on the South China Sea. All 138 people aboard were rescued, including brothers Maj. Lan Dalat and Anthony Lang and their family.
The Ranger took the Vietnamese refugees to the processing center in Manila, Philippines. They were named 138 Subic Bay, after the number of Vietnamese and the location where they first arrived.
The plight of the "Boat People" prompted World Vision to begin Operation Seasweep in May 1978. A 345-tonne converted landing craft was chartered and it sailed in the South China Sea aiding the boat people.
This was replaced by a 1,500-tonne freighter with facilities for a medical crew, mechanics and interpreters in July 1979.This operation was gradually wound up in mid-1982 when the number of boat people began to dwindle and the vessel was sold.
From 1978 to 1980 I was stationed aboard the USS Grayback which was a submarine home ported at the US Navy Base, Subic Bay Republic of the Philipines. Late in 1978 we encountered a group of Boat People at sea that had just been through a terrible experience the day before. They had been attacked by Thai Pirates!
Grayback was decommissioned for the second time on 15 January 1984 at Subic Bay Naval Station in the Republic of the Philippines. After decommissioning, Grayback was sunk as a target on 13 April 1986 in the South China Sea.
Story 2: from Mr Johnson Served aboard ship. We rescued 46 Vietnamese refugees the first time, they were in terrible shape. Treated, hydrated, and made comfortable for the trip to Singapore. Second time was 20 Jan. 1980 rescued 55 souls and once again believe went to Singapore. Read more
Story 3: Response to Mr Johnson from Mr Quoc Pham I am, Quoc Pham, who was the captain of that small boat which delivered 55 souls to the San Jose.Read more
Story 4: On the end of OCT.1979 my boat carry about 35 to 40 boat peoples. I never forget what happened that end the Oct.of 1979 without AFS-7 and all the my heroes helps us, I will not sit here today and write this email to you. Read more
Truong Xuan was 93 meters long, 12 meters wide, powered by 1,500 horsepower and had a loading capacity of 3000 tons. A cargo ship built in Japan in the late fifties, it
had already out-performed its capacities. It had been weighed down with people loaded with worries, anxieties and hope. Now its burden was lifted and its cranes towered in the sky above an indescribably deserted deck.
The two black balls suspended vertically below the yard-arm (just forward of the funnel) indicate that the Akuna is "not under command"; in other words,
through some exceptional circumstance, she is unable to manoeuvre to keep out of the way of another vessel.
Bernard Macdougall Wrote:
This is a true story written from the 1979 log book of Captain Jay K. Elder, United States Merchant Marine, on board the Motor Vessel Supply/Tug Challenge
in the South China Sea, February 3rd – November 5th, 1979.
Received an email from Captn. Jay
Glad you found my story about rescuing the boat people in the South China Sea 1979. I hereby give you rights to publish story in full. I will try and send a full copy of story in a Vietnamies?